If you don't usually read the intros that I write, I encourage you to at least read this one.
In wake of the recent tragedy with Sandy Hook Elementary, amidst all of the hurt, pain, confusion and questions - I decided I would post a blog that shows the other side of humanity - the beautiful, loving, amazing side.
Kathleen asked if I would do a photoshoot of her and her husband Caleb while they were visiting northern NY. She wanted to wear her wedding dress, and she wanted Caleb to wear his old army clothes. She got the idea from a unique wedding gift she received of dolls in a wedding dress and military apparel. As you look at their pictures, I want you to know their story. They aren't just another couple who wanted a photoshoot, they are a couple who have overcome tragedy and have come out happier, stronger and more in love than ever.
I met Caleb and Kathleen 5 years ago when I started attending my current church, New Life Christian Church in Watertown, NY. Caleb was in the army and they were stationed at Fort Drum. I specifically remember eating at Friendly's after youth group and sitting with these two, and just laughing the entire time non stop because of every hilarious remark that came out of Cal's mouth. Kathleen was his sweet, innocent, beautiful counterpart. They were a great team and an amazingly Godly couple.
Fast forward a couple of years. Caleb just returned home from deployment and was getting out of the army. They were planning on moving south and starting a family. Sadly, a car accident changed all of that. Kathleen was ok, but Caleb was in the hosptial for months, fighting for his life. Amazingly Caleb survived, but he now suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). If you want to read all about the accident and their story, you can check our Kathleen's blog here: http://caledarling.blogspot.com/
I am not here to just talk about their story though, I am here to tell you how they have overcome, and how powerful of a testimony Kathleen has.
I have to say that ever since I started following Kathleen's blog, I have become increasingly more aware of all of the complaining on facebook and from the people around me. "I have no friends, my boyfriend is a jerk, I wish I could afford x,y or z, I hate snow, I hate hot summers, I want a better job" and the list goes on and on and on... It seems that no one is ever content in their situations anymore, and they want the world to know. (I am definitely guilty of this as well).
But then you meet someone like Kathleen, and you notice something different about her. It's not her hair, her smile, or her style... but the fact that the whole time you are around her, she NEVER complains. And trust me, if there was someone who had a right to complain, it would be her. Her husband is now a different person, they spend all of their time in and out of rehab centers and hospitals, and her plans of a family have been put on hold. But Kathleen is truly happy, and still madly in love with Caleb.
Their love for each other is so evident in these photos, you forget that Cal has TBI, and you can't even tell what their marriage has gone through. You see their strength and courage, and how truly happy they are. Yes, Kathleen and Caleb have frustrating days, but they don't complain. They PRAY and give it to God. Some of you may not be believers, but for me personally, seeing a couple like Caleb and Kathleen just makes my faith even stronger. Jesus has got our backs whether you believe it or not. He is there to help you through the rough times. There is pain and suffering in this world, and you can choose to battle it alone, or ask God for help. Kathleen chose the latter and it has turned her into one of the most amazing and beautiful women I have ever met. She makes me want to stop complaining, to enjoy each moment, and love on my friends and family more than ever because you never know when they won't be around anymore.
I encourage you to read her blog to witness the miracles of our loving Father, change your attitude and become grateful for whatever situation you are currently in.
For my married friends - I encourage you to take away some wisdom from this post. Please do not give up on your marriage because of fighting and differences. Marriage is a choice and if a couple can overcome TBI, you can overcome your issues too. You CHOOSE to love one another whether you have feelings for each other or not. Don't think for a second that someone better is out there than the person you are with, because that's a lie. If you believe that you'll probably end up just as unhappy with the next person, and the next... The minute you decide you WILL be happy in your marriage and you WILL fight for it, things will start changing.
There IS hope in the world.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.